glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby charon on January 26th, 2021, 1:05 pm 

Well, the thing about 'universe' is that it's absolutely and definitely both :-)
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby Serpent on January 26th, 2021, 5:01 pm 

charon » January 26th, 2021, 12:05 pm wrote:Well, the thing about 'universe' is that it's absolutely and definitely both :-)

I'm glad that's settled.
Now, as regards the language of apologetics, are there any terms or definitions you have reason to challenge? Clarify? Enlarge upon? Offer alternatives to?
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby charon on January 26th, 2021, 6:44 pm 

None whatsoever. I know what all these words mean. If others don't, get a dictionary.

You know what you're doing? Sweating the small stuff. Don't. Start thinking about interesting problems and issues. Don't bother getting bogged down in silly arguments about definitions.

It's so boring.
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby Serpent on January 26th, 2021, 7:01 pm 

Don't bother getting bogged down in silly arguments about definitions.
It's so boring.

Indeed?
Actually, I find both linguistics and comparative religion fascinating.
Isn't it fortunate that nobody who doesn't is compelled to think about them?
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby charon on January 26th, 2021, 7:12 pm 

Don't waste time with smart remarks and inessentials. Put your minds to something worthwhile. You have the intellect, use it.
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby Forest_Dump on January 26th, 2021, 10:04 pm 

charon wrote:Well, the thing about 'universe' is that it's absolutely and definitely both :-)


Well actually not necessarily. Although it is not a religion I put much stock in, I do get the point argued by many (most?) Christians and some other religions that God exists outside or beyond the confines of the universe as we could know it. As a point of reference, the magazine called Skeptic had an interesting debate over a couple of publications between an atheist (on his home turf) and a Christian scholar within the past year. Frankly I thought the Christian won handily.
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby charon on January 27th, 2021, 6:15 am 

The thread's about definitions so I don't think we should get diverted into a discussion about God.

One can query any definition because, to be exact, it must cover any and every facet and possibility of a subject. That's not practical so a basic one will do for ordinary purposes.

Anybody can rewrite a standard definition but it's unnecessary. If academics want to be more precise then they can sort it out between themselves. Nothing wrong with that.
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby toucana on January 27th, 2021, 9:12 am 

If you really wish to get into definitions, then it might be worth pointing out that the concept of apologetics didn’t originally have anything to do with religious doctrine as such.

Apologetics comes from the Greek word ἀπολογία - (apologia) which meant the formal defence or explanation offered by a defendant in a court of law.

In the classical Greek system of justice, the prosecution delivered a formal accusation or charge known as a κατηγορία - (kategoria), and the the defendant replied with an ἀπολογία - (apologia) in their own defence. An apologia was a formal rebuttal of the criminal charges being pressed against them.

The association of the word apologia with the defence of a particular religious point of view grew over time, starting back in antiquity with the fact that criminal charges quite often arose from accusations of blasphemy or sacrilege against the Gods. The trial of Socrates for impiety against the pantheon of Athens as chronicled in Plato’s Apology (Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους) in 399 BCE provides one famous example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apology_(Plato)

Christian apologetics began with the writings of the Apostle Paul in the Greek New Testament where he uses the term apologia multiple times in the sense of “defending the gospel” e.g Acts 26:2, Philippians 1:7 and 1 Peter 3:15.

The ambivalent usage of the word apologia has been perpetuated all the way into modern times, as when Cardinal John Henry Newman who famously converted from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism wrote his autobiography under the defensive Latin title Apologia Pro Sua Vita in 1864.
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby Serpent on January 27th, 2021, 11:24 am 

That's interesting. So Paul already felt he had to defend his dogma.. ? Or the criminal actions of his adherents? I've been given to understand that he also incited them to knock over statues and deface temples. I see a carry-over from criminal law to religious argumentation.

In fact terminology is important in any kind of argument, debate, discussion or negotiation.

While the definition of critical terms at the outset of an exchange is essential to the usefulness and fairness of the discussion, a second factor must also be considered: the use of certain words that are both unquestioned and undefined, since they are not considered critical, and yet have undue persuasive power. In written communication, even punctuation can have persuasive power.
Most important of all is determining how the subject matter is perceived. As Denny Crane* explained: you win by framing the issue before your opponent has a chance to.
Is this thread about religious/Christian apologetics - as indicated by its title - or the importance of well-defined terminology in debate, the universe, argumentation in general, or wasting our intellect of inessentials, such as the building blocks of human communication or why billions of people worship, kill and die for entities that are so variously described and contrarily perceived, or whether it's even possible for human beings to exchange views on any concept not made of rock?

( * a central character in an early 21st century television series Boston Legal who made pithy observations on the practice of trial law.)
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby charon on January 29th, 2021, 3:22 pm 

Trump is St. Paul come back? Wow.
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby hyksos on January 31st, 2021, 4:48 am 

If you are going to get into a debate with apologists, you will need to know this one and have it under your belt. This is C.S. Lewis's "Argument from Reason"


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_reason

https://www.sciencesnail.com/philosophy ... rom-reason


(As some of you may have already figured out.) I am getting to know these go-to talking points by interacting with people on discord. The particular idiot I was talking to somehow raised the Argument-from-Reason in a discussion with a third person about Sam Harris and Free will. The first 20 to 30 minutes of my interaction with this person involved me trying to get him to articulate what the hell the connection was between these two things. Things turned sour when I couldn't even get him to admit that vitalism has been overturned by science. I won't go into (bore you with) further detail of this interaction.
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby Serpent on January 31st, 2021, 11:28 am 

Sooo ---
If reason can't provide all the answers, then none of its hypotheses are valid.
Therefore: God.
Is that how it works?
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby Forest_Dump on January 31st, 2021, 2:36 pm 

It does work that way for some. Perhaps less of a false dichotomy would be: "if reason can't provide all the answers perhaps something else can contribute or at least raise more questions".
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby Forest_Dump on January 31st, 2021, 2:44 pm 

Physicists love to suggest there are more dimensions than we can perceive with our senses or that there are other universes etc but the only way to access them is through manipulating their runes and formulas tested by multibillion dollar machines deep down in their caves. Others might agree there are different kinds of realities but think there are other means of access such as by finding different forms of consciousness, experience or rationality. To each their own.
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Re: glossary of apologetics : a debator's toolbox

Postby Serpent on January 31st, 2021, 4:19 pm 

Forest_Dump » January 31st, 2021, 1:36 pm wrote:It does work that way for some. Perhaps less of a false dichotomy would be: "if reason can't provide all the answers perhaps something else can contribute or at least raise more questions".

Thing is, though: We've never had a dearth of questions, nor a burning need to raise more.
What was the first question Reason and/or Faith were expected to answer? When was it first asked? By whom?
Is there some absolute requirement that all question must be answered, no matter how implausibly?
Will it never suffice to say: "I don't have the requisite devices and faculties to find out."?

Humans have always had plenty of questions about all kinds of things. Many of them - really, very many, indeed! - have been answered through observation, experimentation and deduction - at least sufficiently for practical application.
Faith-sourced answers are restricted to subjective experience and "but maybe something", which doesn't seem to me more useful than "I don't know."
Indeed, religious apologists never start with an open question: they start with the presumption of having the only relevant question and the only way it can legitimately framed, and the only correct answer, then look for vulnerable points where to attack a reasoned argument.
Since all reasoned arguments are, by definition and self-identification, provisional (This is the standing theory - until it's replaced by one that fits more observed facts.), and institutional religious doctrines are dogmatic (Though they can be changed by decree from internal authority, they cannot be overturned by discovery of new information.) there is, in fact, nothing to attack.

Neither kind of investigation rules out the individual observer saying, of anyone else's theory: "I cannot credit that explanation." - whether they then go on to give reasons for their skepticism or not. And neither can convince the other to change its method, because neither method can change: human have both capabilities, and they are - as you pointed out earlier - incompatible.
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